Uber Is Back in London After a Protracted Legal Kerfuffle

Jun 26, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

After a long legal battle, Uber is back in business in London.

Last September, Transport for London (TfL), the local government body responsible for Greater London’s transportation network, refused to renew the ride-hailing company’s license to operate, on the grounds that Uber is not a “fit and proper” operator. After months of legal back-and-forth, followed by two days of hearings in the Westminster magistrates court, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot overturned the TfL ban, stating that Uber is now considered “fit and proper,” and granting Uber a 15-month probationary license with a “clear set of conditions that TfL will thoroughly monitor and enforce.” Arbuthnot also required Uber to pay TfL’s legal costs, around $560,000.

Uber, which originally requested a five-year license from TfL, began the two-day hearings procedure by stating that many of TfL’s prior concerns were accurate, saying that the company has made significant changes to the business model since September 2017 that include reporting criminal activity directly with London law enforcement instead of lodging complaints with TfL, which often resulted in delays that the department wasn’t equipped to address. Another change includes the restriction that drivers can only use the Uber app in regions where they hold a private hire license, and with far stricter regulations around their hours worked. Under the new probationary license terms, Uber drivers must take a six-hour consecutive break after every 10 hours of driving.

“We will continue to work with TfL to address their concerns and earn their trust, while providing the best possible service for our customers,” said Tom Elvidge, Uber’s UK general manager.

Helen Chapman, TfL’s licensing, regulation and charging director, said that the relationship between Uber and TfL had been “very difficult” over the past half-decade. “We have had five years of a very difficult relationship where Uber has felt they haven’t required regulation and being operated in the same way as everybody else we regulate,” Chapman said, citing concerns over Uber’s approach to reporting crime, as well as how background checks are conducted on drivers – safety issues that have plagued the rideshare company worldwide. But Chapman allowed that Uber’s changes “could, if applied correctly, enhance public safety.”

Uber stated that the company is “determined to make things right.” Further changes for Uber in London include clear documentation showing passengers that their drivers are TfL-licensed. 

Londoners seemed to react favorably to the compromise. Culture Secretary Matt Hancock most likely spoke on behalf of the people when he tweeted: “Glad to see sense has prevailed on Uber and millions of Londoners can continue to use their great service.”

Featured image courtesy of Uber

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.